Aspinall took to social media to express his frustration (credit:Lawrence Lustig/PDC)
Nathan Aspinall has branded the condition of PDC tournament dartboards as “a disgrace” after suffering a shock early exit at the Czech Darts Open.
Aspinall, the reigning UK Open champion, was beaten 6-4 by Andrew Gilding with an 87.5 average in the Second Round of the inaugural European Tour event in Prague on Saturday.
The world number 13 became increasingly irate at suffering a plethora of bounce-outs during the contest and took to social media soon after to express his frustration.
In a tweet, which has since been deleted, Aspinall wrote: ‘I’m not a bad loser at all but something needs to happen. How many times do players have to complain?
‘Unicorn boards are a disgrace, how many times do players have to suffer before something is done?
‘We might earn good money but we are still playing for our wages and family.’
The dartboards used in all PDC competitions are manufactured by Unicorn – who have been the PDC’s official board supplier for more than two decades.
Unicorn signed a five-year extension to the current deal in 2016, meaning their dartboards will continue to be used across the entire PDC system until at least 2022.
The current dartboard model – the Eclipse HD2 – has been in use since 2016 and has attracted criticism from both amateur and professional players for its lack of durability.
Earlier this month, Unicorn-sponsored Michael Smith demanded Unicorn ‘sort it out’ after suffering frequent bounce-outs in televised events.
Unicorn Managing Director Edward Lowy defended the product on Twitter, stating:
The Unicorn Eclipse HD2 is described as having: seamless playing surface, tournament regulation segments, staple-free construction, high visibility replaceable moulded numbers, ultra-slim wire, matt black number ring to minimise distractions and a slimmer bullseye wire to increase the playing area by 14 per cent.